Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NH 88152 56018
288152, 856018


For the Highland Railway Company, 1885-1891. Highland Railway station group.

MAIN STATION OFFICES: dated 1885, long single storey H-plan building on down platform with low wing to east. Coursed rubble with broached ashlar dressings. Projecting cross wings with crowstepped gables and carved stone finials, rose, thistle and star; west gable end to platform with canted bay window. Platform canopy borne on clustered cast-iron columns on hexagonal bases. Tall square and round chimney stacks; slate roof.

FORMER WAITING ROOM AND SHELTER: located on up platform: later 19th century, single storey, timber weatherboarded waiting room and separate shelter with swept, piended roofs. Former waiting room has advanced centre section with central door; mullioned and transomed windows; porch to each gable; panelled doors. (presently used as retail premises, 2013). Smaller ancillary shelter to NE, also with slate roof.

WEST SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NH 87978, 55905) 1891, McKenzie and Holland Type 3 (Highland variant). 2-storey, rectangular-plan signal box. Timber weatherboarding with contrasting painted margins set on brick base; doorway in small projecting porch under valanced lintel fronted by narrow balcony and approached by short wooden forestair. Continuous 4-pane glazing to track elevation, returning along E and W gables. Corrugated metal roof. Lever frame to interior.

EAST SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NH 88284, 56083) 1891, McKenzie and Holland Type 3 (Highland variant). Broadly same as W signal box but single-storey appearance due to raised platform location and without balcony or forestair. Lever frame to interior.

FOOTBRIDGE. late 19th century cast-iron footbridge with lattice girders, linking up and down platforms; gas lamp brackets.

Statement of Special Interest

The station buildings at Nairn provide a particularly rich and complete representation of a late 19th century Highland Railway station. The station design is stylistically significant within the Highland Railway tradition. Nairn railway station was re-built by the Highland Railway Company in 1885, in part due to the increasing prosperity of the town as a holiday resort. The datestone is on the north gable of the station offices. The principal station buildings are similar in design to those at Pitlochry (see separate listing). The Inverness and Nairn Railway opened in 1855 and was the first railway line in the Highlands. The company was subsumed in 1865 by founding members of the Highland Railway Company.

Signal boxes are a distinctive and increasingly rare building type that make a significant contribution to Scotland's diverse industrial heritage. The McKenzie & Holland signal boxes at Nairn date from 1891. They are slightly different in design, illustrating how boxes could be modified to suit their intended position, on or off the platform. This is the last Highland Railway station with signal boxes at either end of the loop. Set a considerable distance apart, the boxes were manned by a duty signaller who cycled between them on a bicycle provided by the rail company. This continued until the Nairn boxes became surplus to operational requirements in 2000.

The footbridge is the classic lattice-girder type for Highland stations of the period.

List description and statutory address revised as part of Scottish Signal Box Review (2012-13). East and West Signal Boxes previously listed separately as "Nairn Railway Station, West and East Signal Boxes North (Down) Platform".



Inverness Courier Jan 13, 1885. John Hume, Industrial Archaeology Of Scotland, ii. pp239-40. The Signalling Study Group, The Signal Box - A Pictorial History and Guide To Designs (1986) p197. Gordon Biddle, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings (2003). Peter Kay and Derek Coe, Signalling Atlas and Signal Box Directory - Great Britain and Ireland (2010 - 3rd Edition).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to NAIRN RAILWAY STATION INCLUDING MAIN OFFICES, FORMER WAITING ROOM AND SHELTER, WEST SIGNAL BOX, EAST SIGNAL BOX AND FOOTBRIDGE

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 06/12/2022 19:37